STEVEN JERAL HARRIS
EMERALD BLUE OKIKI
Loch Ness Monster.
"I hope you like snow," Jason says with a chuckle.
I chuckle back at him. "I heard it can get bad, but I don’t mind snow.”
He presses his lips tightly together and shakes his head in disagreement then says in whispers, “you won’t be saying that in a couple of months.”
“Is it really that bad?” I ask.
“It’s that bad,” he shoves the word ‘that’ down my ear.
“But look on the bright side, if we get snowed in, at least we won’t have to come to school,” I inform him.
He chuckles again.
“Nope you still have to come to school; they don’t care,” he finishes.
“What if it’s a foot of snow?” I ask.
“I guess you’ll be hiking to school in a foot of snow.”
“What if it’s three feet?”
“Then you’ll be hiking to school in three feet of snow.”
“Seriously, they can’t do that,” I reply chuckling.
“Get used to it Dorothy you’re not in Kansas anymore.”
I try to keep my laughter at a minimum.
“Are you always this difficult?” I ask.
“It’s my job,” he replies.
“I think you should call out sick.”
“I’m all out of sick days,” he responds.
“Well, get your hours reduced or something,” I shoot back.
“I can’t. I’m a workaholic.”
I pause for a moment, unable to make a comeback.
“I can do this all day Dorothy. I’m the comeback king. Bring it on.”
I stop to think but time has lingered to long.
“Okay. Okay. You win for now, but I have a question.”
“I have an answer, maybe,” he replies charmingly.
“What’s up with these lion phenomena? I can’t go anywhere without seeing it on something.”
He takes his time to snicker modestly at my question before answering.
“That started a couple of years back, when a hiker took a picture of a black lion. It quickly grew into a money making gimmick for the town. Now, he’s like Glenworth’s Loch Ness monster.”
“I figured that much.”
“To some people, this is not just a legend. Some say if you go deep enough in the forest, you might just hear him roar.”
“Who, the lion?”
“Yes. They call him Mane. He protects the forest from a demon. They say this demon was once a wolf. And when the wolf ate a hundred hearts, it turned into something else. It became part demon, part wolf.
Some say it has a body of a man, but with a head of a dog. That’s how it got its name, you know. They call this creature, The Hellhound. He waits in the woods, ready to find his next victim.”
“You know what? I overheard my mom talking on the phone with my Uncle. He said a girl was attacked by something just recently.”
“Yeah, I heard that one too. They tried to blame it on an animal. But I know who it was.”
“The Hellhound. In order for him to stay alive, he must eat a heart every so often or else he gets weak and die.”
The expression in his face is so serious that it’s creeping me out.
“Nobody would ever believe that stuff.” I say with a snicker. Although I find it funny, his expression is humor free.
“So, you don’t?” he asks me with a serious expression.
“I don’t believe in fairy tales.”
He grunts and shakes his head in disagreement.
“Then you best start believing.”
I stop smiling. I take a second to gaze into his eyes. I study them, trying to find a hint of humor. There’s nothing there to indicate a joke.
“I hope everyone is paying attention back there,” Professor Nelson says with his eyes peering at us.
We quickly shift our faces forward. When the Professor realizes he has our undivided attention he continues with his lecture.
Before I know it, the classroom is emptying.
"Catch you later," he says in a cool way as he leaves the room.
“See you later,” I reply.
I gather my belongings and head towards the door, but Professor Nelson stops me in my tracks.
"First day and you can't even make it on time," he says with a raised eyebrow.
"Oh, yeah, I was lost."
"Excuses are not a major in this University," he looks at me with peering eyes.
"Sorry. I won’t make it a habit."
"I certainly hope not. I'll meet you here Thursday, on time."
"Yes sir," I nod to him in agreement and exit the classroom.
I then wait outside for my mom at my usual pick-up spot. As soon as 4:30 hit, I see her coming into the school lot. I hop into the passenger seat, smiling uncontrollably.
“Hey mom how was work?” my smile is brighter than ever.
“It went well,” she responds. "So, how was school?" she shoots back.
"That’s good to hear," she tells me.
I try to lower my cheerfulness, at least a tinge, but I can’t. A moment pass and the car remain stationary. I turn to my mom, who is leering at me sideways. Oh no, she’s reading me again.
"What mom?" my huge smile is impossible to hide.
"I know that look," she continues with her leer.
"What look?" I ask annoyingly.
"That one you have."
"I don't know what you’re talking about.”
I wish that my smile will fade soon.
"Who is he?"
"Mom, stop it," I start to laugh.
"Is he tall or is he short?”
“Mom, back off, please,” I plead to her.
“I’ll find out, I have resources.”
I roll my eyes and shift my face towards my window.
“Where did you meet him? English class, psychology class?” she solicits further.
I roll my eyes yet again and reply…
“I met him online mom. He’s fresh out of prison.”
I hear her chuckling beside me as we roll back from the parking spot and cruise through the lot.
“Okay, I’ll find out one way or another,” she informs me.
A day that started off scary ended pretty well for me. It’s kind of ridiculous that I’m thinking so much about Jason. He makes that horrible incident with the Blaires a distant memory.
...to be continued
Watch out for the next episode... New episode reads on Tuesdays
Untamed S2ep10 Season finale